Esperion Nets Another Positive Late-Stage Study Under Its Belt


  • Esperion Therapeutics posts positive phase 2 results in patients with elevated levevels of LDL-C who were on background therapy with an injectable PCSK9 inhibitor.
  • The positive synergy between bempedoic acid and repatha may provide a path forward for other combination therapies involving PCSK9 inhibitors.
  • Positive phase 3 data in a prior study proved that bempedoic acid improved clinical outcome over placebo for those already on lipid modifying therapies.
  • The financials are solid as Esperion has enough cash to fund its operations well into 2020, meaning that other bempedoic acid trials will be read out before a cash raise is necessary.
  • The positive outcome of adding bempedoic acid together with an injectable PCSK9 inhibitor makes Esperion an attractive acquisition target.

Recently, Esperion Therapeutics (NASDAQ:ESPR) announced positive phase 2 results in patients with hypercholesterolemia. What this entails is that the company's drug bempedoic acid can be combined with injectable PCSK9 inhibitors to improve upon a patient's clinical outcome. That's because sometimes even when these patients take a PCSK9 inhibitor alone, it does not lower their cholesterol enough to be effective. That's why I believe that this new data is solid and why Esperion Therapeutics remains a solid buy.

Phase 2 Data

The phase 2 study was to evaluate the safety and efficacy of 180 mg/day bempedoic acid in patients with hypercholesterolemia (high cholesterol) who were already taking a PCSK9 inhibitor. This entailed 59 patients being randomized to receive either bempedoic acid or placebo as an add on therapy to a PCSK9 inhibitor. The primary endpoint of the study was to determine the eight-week LDL-C lowering efficacy of bempedoic acid versus placebo while patients were on a PCSK9 inhibitor. More specifically, patients were on a background therapy of Amgen (AMGN) repatha. The results were really good, as the trial met on its primary endpoint of achieving significantly better LDL-C lowering compared to placebo. It was noted that patients treated with bempedoic acid achieved a 27% decrease in LDL levels, compared to the placebo patients who had instead seen an increase of 3% in LDL. The results are outstanding but there is something else of importance that was observed in the study. The patients treated with bempedoic acid had achieved a 34% drop in high-sensitivity C-reactive protein (hsCRP). This compares to the placebo which only achieved a 2% reduction of the hsCRP biomarker. Why is this hsCRP biomarker so important? That's because this biomarker, which deals with inflammation, is linked to heart disease. The greater the reduction observed with respect to this biomarker, the greater the reduced risk of heart disease.

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This article was written by

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Actionable ideas on small-large cap biotech stocks through deep analysis.

I am the Founder of Biotech Analysis Central, A subscription service on Seeking Alpha's Marketplace. If you want to learn more about biotech investing or you want to check out my biotech analysis you can do so with a free 2-week trial to my service. Just hit the "Learn More" button on the bottom of the Marketplace Research Tab. I have a Bachelors of Applied Science Degree In Technology Management, Industrial and Business Services Management from St. Petersburg College Florida. I have been investing in biotech stocks for many years, and I prefer to invest as a long term investor. With that In mind I seek stocks that have long term value! I primarily Like to Invest In biotechnology stocks and I accept the risks. I Write for the Healthcare Sector and Stock market in general. I contribute to Seeking Alpha.

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